07 January 2011

Life Lessons

This is for my personal record, it is from an email 2+ years ago, and some comments may not make sense to everyone else!

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland ,
Ohio .
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most requested column I've ever written.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.  Understanding that life isn't fair is one of the best lessons a young person can learn.  It makes you realize that life is not about you.  You have to be about life and work with it to achieve your level of happiness.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.  Also very important.  Doubt immobilizes some people.  Don't let that happen to you,  When in doubt, trust in yourself and take action.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.  True, but "hating" can make us stronger.  When you feel "hate", muster the strength to rise above it.  That will make you emotionally strong and better able to deal with life.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
parents will. Stay in touch.  Could not have been said better.  Unconditional love is a wonderful and powerful medicine.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.  Credit card debt is "convenient" debt and can bleed you of your financial resources.  Don't let that happen.  My approach is to pay into the credit card and get ahead.  Each month I pay the card what I think I will spend that month.  Then when I use the card (for convenience) it does not cost me anything and I remain debt free.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.  No, you do not have to win every argument.  Most arguments are not worth winning.  But you need to be strong and "have a position."  When asked, you should be able to state your position and defend it.  If you can't defend, don't state it.  But, be prepared to change your position when confronted with a better argument or information.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.  However, there is something to be said for quiet solitude.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.  I also think he appreciates it.  Arguing with God will not change anything, but it is an incredible stress reliever.  It makes us realize how small and insignificant we are in the overall scheme of things.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.  No finer advice.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.  True.  
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.  While this is true, it is better to live your life so you won't have to make "peace with your past."
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.  But you have to be careful, crying is not as popular as it used to be.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.  We all have our own journey, but it is good to know how other people live so you can learn from them and become a better person, or better at what you do.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.  However, "special" relationships are wonderful whether private or not as long as they are legitimate.  Don't be afraid to have relationships.  That is what life is all about.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God
never blinks.  Thank God.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.  Excellent.  It will also enable you to stay under water longer.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.  If you do this, make sure you have a very large trashcan.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.  A direct quote from Friedrich Neitzsche and G. Gordon Liddy.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is
up to you and no one else.  Being a fighter pilot, you never have to grow up.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no
for an answer.  Agree big time.  Remember fortune favors the bold.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Sounds like it is going to be a nice evening.
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.  Yes.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.  Don't know what that means.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.  Absolutely.  If you wait for old age to be silly and have a good time, it may be too late.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.  Is that why people with Alzheimer's don't have sex??? 
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.  Remember it is not what people think of us that makes us happy, it is what we like in others that makes us happy.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'  Sorry, we can't wait five years to frame "disasters"; we need to do that today. Remember, "life isn't fair".  Deal with it. 
27. Always choose life.  True.
28. Forgive everyone everything.  Disagree.  Hold a few grudges.  It makes life more interesting.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.  But, you still have to care.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.  Then give it some more time.  Sadness and a broken heart will not heal overnight. 
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.  Absolutely.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.  They better, or you won't have a job long.
33. Believe in miracles.  But, remember that miracles normally happens only when people do not have cameras or know what is going on.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did
or didn't do.  As stated earlier, unconditional love is a wonderful thing.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.  Could not agree more...and remember that just showing up is half the battle.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.  Redundant.
37. Your children get only one childhood.  True, but remember that in the jungle of life, the cheetah and the lion have to outrun each other to survive.  So, when you wake up you better hit the ground running.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.  Love it.  While you may "feel" someone's love for you, it is not nearly as great as the "feeling" of love you have for someone.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.  Just make sure you bring your camera.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.  Absolutely true.  The thing to do is not view them as problems, but as challenges.  I started enjoying golf when I started viewing shots into the woods as a challenge rather than a problem.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.  But envy can be a great motivator.  Don't envy what someone else has, be proud for them...just work to make it yours also.
42. The best is yet to come...or the yet is best to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.  No better advice in the world.
44. Yield.  Well...ok....
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."  I've seen it tied with a bow...and it was labeled "Ms Cane".

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